Sail To Prevail: Gaining Confidence At Sea
Photos by Nathan Coe
Encountering challenges at sea is a concept not unfamiliar to Nantucket. In fact, few places on earth have more seriously tested the resolve and fortitude of sailors over the centuries than the waters that surround our island.
Today Nantucket is one of the ports for a new and perhaps even more formidable sailing challenge than those experienced by whalers of the past. Sail To Prevail, formerly Shake-A-Leg, and the brainchild of paralympic sailor Paul Callahan, is a remarkable organization that puts children and teens facing physical, developmental and health issues to the test.
Through the world of sailing, these young people confront their own fears and self doubt through mastering skills they never thought possible. By learning to sail and being part of a sailing team, they realize that the impossible is possible and that they can indeed overcome the obstacles in their lives.
Pushing boundaries is what Sail To Prevail is all about and the organization’s recent donation of the legendary 12-meter racing America’s Cup yacht, Easterner, provides an example of just how far they are willing to push.
According to Paul Callahan, CEO of Sail to Prevail, “Training and racing an actual America’s Cup 12-meter and beating seasoned, able-bodied competitors sends a message that is loud and clear to those who lack the belief in their ability to better manage their circumstances and overcome their own adversity.”
Callahan indicates that over 1,000 children per year benefit from his organization as do their families, who often see a renewed sense of confidence in their children.
The opportunities found in and around the waters of Nantucket continue to enrich those willing to explore their limits, and for participants in Sail To Prevail they have just begun to discover how far they can go. The organization relies almost exclusively on personal donations and is hosting a fund raiser on Saturday, July 24th at the Great Harbor Yacht Club.